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Functions of the Purchasing Department
The Purchasing Department has the SOLE authority to order supplies, materials, and equipment and to obligate the University for Contractual Services. Without definite and particular permission of the Purchasing Department, NO University department may order directly by letter, telephone, fax, e-mail, telegraph or any other manner. The University will assume no obligation except on a previously issued and duly authorized purchase order. Remember, should a Dean, Director, Vice-President, the President or Budget Officer give their approval to make a purchase, they are giving permission for the purchase to be made through the Purchasing Department, but not to make the purchase yourself. REMEMBER that the Purchasing Department is required to operate according to State Laws.
- Purchasing policies and procedures apply uniformly to all funds administered by the University whether they are departmental budgeted operating, system, or restricted (including professorships, riverboat funds and student organizations). Any funds deposited with the University are considered a university fund, and must be expended according to prevailing University and State Policies.
- The Purchasing Department at McNeese is a service department to all other departments. Thus, policies and procedures are designed to serve the interests of all departments as well as to meet policy requirements of the State of Louisiana.
- Through specialization and centralization of purchasing, the Purchasing Department is able to procure supplies and equipment as economically and conveniently as possible.
Procedures of Purchasing
A department enters a purchase requisition for goods/services required. Such request is routed for approval to the designated approver in the Banner system.
Once all the necessary approvals are met, the purchase requisition is routed to the Purchasing Department. At this point, the requisition is routed to a buyer to be reviewed and processed. NOTE: An approved purchase requisition does not give the department the authority to place an order. No order can be placed without a valid purchase order number obtained from the purchasing department.
- If a need arises in a department where a purchase must be made by an individual and that individual will need to be reimbursed, PRIOR approval must be granted by the person responsible for the department’s budget as well as the Purchasing Department. NOTE: if Louisiana sales tax is charged on the purchase, the Louisiana sales tax will not be reimbursed. When the requisition is entered for reimbursement the receipt must be forwarded to purchasing specifying the requisition number and a document note must be entered specifying the individual in purchasing granting approval to make the purchase.
The buyer checks the specifications for clarity and completeness. The buyer will contact the department when necessary if additional information is needed to process a requisition. Once the requisition is acceptable, a bid or a purchase order is prepared depending upon the purchase type. If a bid is necessary, the bid document will be submitted to vendors and such bids will be opened on the day and time specified. The bids are tabulated and a purchase order will be submitted to the lowest bidder. When a bid is not necessary, a purchase order is prepared and either mailed or faxed to the vendor. Items ordered are received by the MSU Warehouse and then delivered to the ordering department. When items are not received as specified, the department should notify the buyer listed on the purchase order as soon as possible concerning a follow up with the vendor. Upon receipt of materials from the warehouse, departments must systematically receive on such items so invoices can be processed when received.
UNAUTHORIZED PURCHASES: Purchases made without approval from the purchasing department are, in general, unauthorized purchases. These purchases are illegal and payment is the responsibility of the purchaser. However, since the purchase is made in the name of McNeese State University, in some cases the University will pay for the unauthorized purchase. In such cases a letter of explanation describing why proper procedure was not followed must be submitted to the Purchasing Department. If the “excuse” is valid, the purchase will be paid for. If not, the payment is the purchaser’s responsibility. A file of all unauthorized purchases will be maintained and forwarded to the Vice-President of Business Affairs periodically.
TRAVEL RELATED PURCHASES: The purchasing department will become involved with travel-related purchases only for obtaining quotes on charters. The state travel regulations are located at the following link: https://www.doa.la.gov/doa/ost/ppm-49-travel-guide/
Please contact the Travel Department at Ext. 5288 with any travel related questions
PETTY CASH: The Administrative Accounting Department handles purchases with Petty Cash. The limit on petty cash is $100.00. This does not mean $100.00 per store. This means the total price for items needed cannot exceed $100.00. If the purchase is over $100.00, a purchase requisition must be entered. Petty cash cannot be used for food or services.
BLANKET ORDERS: Blanket orders are an encumbrance of funds for a particular vendor over a period of time where small periodic purchases are anticipated. Generally, this time period is from July 1st to May 15th. When entering a Blanket Order requisition, please type BO as the classification in the comment field.
A blanket order cannot be used to avoid following regular Purchasing regulations and procedures.
Blanket orders will initially be set up for a maximum of $1,000.00 in most cases. It is the responsibility of the department, along with the vendor, to assure that the total dollar amount of the purchases against the blanket order do not exceed the amount stated on the purchase order.
A blanket order cannot be used by Student Organizations to purchase prizes or award items for give away. Such items must be done on a separate request and it must be indicated on the request that items being requested are for event prizes.
LEASES AND RENTALS The majority of all leases and rentals are handled in the same manner as if they were purchased. Any exception must be confirmed and approved by Purchasing.
PRE-PAYMENTS are permissible for the following:
- Newspaper and magazine subscriptions and renewals
- Membership Dues
- Registration Fees
- Medical Charges for athletics only
An invoice, registration form, or renewal announcement MUST be forwarded to the Purchasing Department indicating the requisition number for these types of purchases. (Please write the requisition number at the top right corner of document and if more than one document per requisition number, please staple or paper clip documents together.) When entering the Payment Enclosed requisition, please enter PE as the classification in the comment field.
If a need arises in a department where a purchase must be made by an individual and that individual will need to be reimbursed, prior approval must be granted by the person responsible for the department’s budget as well as the Purchasing Department. NOTE: An approved purchase requisition does not give the department the authority to place an order. When the requisition is entered for reimbursement, enter PE as the classification in the comment field of requisition. The receipt must be forwarded to purchasing with the requisition number written on top right corner of document. A document note must be entered specifying the individual in purchasing granting approval to make the purchase.